US Drone Strike Kills at Least 14 in Eastern Afghanistan

Dozens Also Wounded; NATO Denies Any Knowledge of Attack

by Jason Ditz, January 22, 2013

According to provincial officials in the eastern Afghan province in Nuristan, US drones fired multiple missiles against the Kamdish District late Monday, causing “around 35” casualties, with others reporting at least 14 deaths in the strike. Local officials termed all the slain suspects.

Oddly, NATO officials insisted they had no information about any operations ongoing in the region, and they declined to speculate whether there was a strike at all, though not all drone strikes are necessarily coordinated through NATO.

The Kamdish District borders Chitral, Pakistan, which is part of Malakand. The region is near Pakistani militant positions, but is not specifically associated with any militant groups nor US drone strikes against them.

Nuristan Province has been contested repeatedly by the Taliban, with the Taliban setting up its own government and being the de facto rulers off and on for years. The US has redeployed troops since the 2009 withdrawal from the region, but the Taliban maintains a significant presence.

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